Mary queen and mother,
SAINT John Kemble
Pope Pius XII, in the Marian Year, 1954, instituted the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. The formal declaration of Mary’s Queenship was exactly one-hundred years since the definition of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Mary’s queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship. In the fourth century Saint Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen.” The feast is a logical follow-up to the Assumption, and is now celebrated on the octave day of that feast.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 44: 10
At your right stands the queen in robes of gold, finely arrayed.
O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mother and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession, we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Judges 6:11-24
The angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah which belonged to Joash of Abiezer. Gideon his son was threshing wheat inside the winepress to keep it hidden from Midian, when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior!” Gideon answered him, “Forgive me, my lord, but if the Lord is with us, then why is it that all this is happening to us now? And where are all the wonders our ancestors tell us of when they say, “Did not the Lord bring us out of Egypt?” But now the Lord has deserted us; he has abandoned us to Midian.” At this the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength now upholding you, and you will rescue Israel from the power of Midian. Do I not send you myself?” Gideon answered him, “Forgive me, my lord, but how can I deliver Israel? My clan, you must know, is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least important in my family.” The Lord answered him, “I will be with you and you shall crush Midian as though it were a single man.” Gideon said to him, “If I have found favour in your sight, give me a sign that it is you who speak to me. I beg you, do not go away until I come back. I will bring you my offering and set it down before you.” And he answered, “I will stay until you return.” Gideon went away and prepared a young goat and made unleavened cakes with an ephah of flour. He put the meat into a basket and the broth into a pot, then brought it all to him under the terebinth. As he came near, the angel of the Lord said to him, “Take the meat and unleavened cakes, put them on this rock and pour the broth over them.” Gideon did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff in his hand and touched the meat and unleavened cakes. Fire sprang from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened cakes, and the angel of the Lord vanished before his eyes. Then Gideon knew this was the angel of the Lord, and he said, “Alas, my Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” the Lord answered him, “Peace be with you; have no fear; you will not die.” Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it The-Lord-is-Peace.
Psalm 84 (85):9, 11-14
R/ The Lord speaks peace to his people.
I will hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace, peace for his people and his friends and those who turn to him in their hearts.
Mercy and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have embraced. Faithfulness shall spring from the earth and justice look down from heaven.
The Lord will make us prosper and our earth shall yield its fruit. Justice shall march before him and peace shall follow his steps.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 24: 4, 5
Alleluia, alleluia! Teach me your paths, my God, make me walk in your truth. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30
Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” When the disciples heard this they were astonished. “Who can be saved, then?” they said. Jesus gazed at them. “For men,” he told them, “this is impossible; for God everything is possible.” Then Peter spoke. “What about us?” he said to him. “We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?” Jesus said to him, “I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life. “Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
Prayer over the Offerings
As we observe this Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we bring you our offerings, O Lord, praying to be given strength by the humanity of Christ, who offered himself to you on the Cross as the unblemished oblation. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Lk 1: 45
Blessed are you who have believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.
Prayer after Communion
Having received this heavenly Sacrament, we humbly pray, O Lord, that we, who reverently celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may merit to be partakers at your eternal banquet. Through Christ our Lord.
The rich have more difficulty entering the Kingdom of Heaven than those who have little because the former tend to rely on their wealth and not on God. We are very inclined to putting our security in what we have; we value what is human more than what is divine. This also applies to our spiritual wealth. If we rely on our prayers and good works to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we may be in for a big surprise. They will not get us to first place! We are saved by God’s grace given to us because God is good, not because we have some goodness of our own, independent of God.